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Tom Ham's Lighthouse - Renovated, Re-opened and Better than Ever
By Carol LeBeau
7/29/2013 12:33:43 AM


How’d you like to turn your next boring business lunch into a mini-vacation? Then do what my friend, Paula and I did recently – head to Harbor Island and go over those financial reports at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse restaurant.

Tom Ham's RestauarantWhat’s the big deal? Most San Diegans know Tom Ham’s has been around for decades. True, but if you haven’t yet heard, this is the all-new Tom Ham’s! The iconic San Diego eatery has recently re-opened after a five-month renovation and it’s incredible!

I first experienced the famous lighthouse restaurant in 1981 as a guest speaker for an event that met in the “California Room.” New to San Diego, I recall the view from the banquet facility was so beautiful; it was difficult to concentrate on my speech.

I’ve enjoyed that view countless times since the 80’s. But in recent years, it’s been hard not to notice the popular meeting place becoming more and more run down. The old, wooden podium I stood behind more than 30 years ago was still there …worn, chipped and faded. And the poor podium wasn’t alone. The aging carpeting, furniture – everything had fallen into disrepair.

Well, no more! The redesign of the waterfront eatery and event site is complete and it’s fabulous!

Owners Andy and Grant Baumann, Tom Ham’s grandsons, kept most of their grandfather’s memorabilia, blending it with a new design that includes contemporary furniture, a bright and airy layout and expanded views of San Diego bay from every table.

My “business” lunch with Paula was more like a day at the beach as business took a backseat to the drop-dead gorgeous views from our table of downtown San Diego and Coronado.

Nibbling tasty salmon and shrimp atop baby kale salads with Fuji apples, Marcona almonds and honey-lemon dressing…two hours just melted away on our combination business lunch/stay-cation! (On my next visit, I can’t wait to try the fig and burrata salad with watercress, toasted pistachio and balsamic!)

And for all you “foodies” out there, the all-new Tom Ham’s menu overhaul by new executive chef, Lance Repp, focuses on seafood including a large raw bar selection, market fish and creative takes on paella and bouillabaisse – two dishes featured when the restaurant first opened 40 years ago.

So take a little vacation, without leaving town! Tom Ham’s Lighthouse on Harbor Island is back and it’s better than ever.

“Everything Old is New Again!
--Peter Allen

(Oh! One more thing! Be sure to check out the cool, keg room behind the glass on the first floor. With 32 taps at the bar, at Tom Ham’s, there’s a special brew for every taste!)

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@pph.org.